Dockless e-scooters and e-bikes are coming. Montreal looks for ways to avoid chaos – CBC.ca

Dockless e-scooters and e-bikes are coming. Montreal looks for ways to avoid \chaos\ - CBC.ca
A Public Electric Scooter Sharing Network Is Coming To Montreal
Dockless electric-bike and electric-scooter sharing systems are expected to arrive in Montreal as early as this spring, and in response, the city is introducing a bylaw to try to prevent the "chaos" experienced elsewhere.

The provincial government has said it will issue a decree permitting shareable, dockless e-bikes and e-scooters in the coming weeks.

In Montreal, the so-called micro-mobility companies are to be permitted to have bicycles or scooters parked only at bicycle racks, at the corners of streets where car parking isn’t permitted, and in spots designated by each borough.

"We're open to that new form of mobility, but we want to have clear control of the way they're deployed on the street, and we want to keep our sidewalks clear," Coun. Éric Alan Caldwell said Wednesday at an event introducing the city's regulatory plans.

Already in place in dozens of U.S. cities, companies like Lime, Bird and Jump offer electric scooters that can be rented on a per-minute basis and left in designated places, paid through a mobile application.

"In other cities where it has been allowed and there has been no regulation, it's chaos."

The city says it is up to the province to modify its highway safety code to establish other rules, such as whether the scooters will be permitted on bicycle paths, streets or sidewalks.

The e-bicycles and e-scooters are equipped with GPS and activated using a smartphoneapp. Unlike Bixis, they can, in theory, be left anywhere.  

However, some cities have run into problems because of scooters left haphazardly on sidewalks and streets, or users riding them on on the street, endangering themselves and others.

Detractors see them as a dangerous scourge — cluttering streets and other public places and endangering pedestrians.

The companies will have to pay between $15,000 and $27,500 for a permit to establish in the city, and will be responsible for where their products are parked.

"It's something we've never seen, and we've decided to adopt a bylaw before these bikes or scooters are on our streets," he said.

The bylaw, which the Plante administration plans to table and adopt in April, will prevent the e-bikes and scooters from being ridden on sidewalks and will designate specific areas where they can be parked.

Other cities have encountered problems, such as scooters left haphazardly on streets and sidewalks.

They will first be allowed downtown, in an area bounded by René-Lévesque Boulevard and Sherbrooke Street, and Guy and Berri streets.

The city will require the sharing system's operators to be based in Montreal and to respond quickly in the event of misuse, Caldwell said.

You will see electric scooters like this from @jump_rides around #Montreal starting this June or July. Montreal is the first Canadian city to have JUMP. Scooters will be allowed on streets and bike paths, and can be parked in designated zones near intersections. pic.twitter.com/ovpqPmeOMw

Operators will be charged a fee to enter the market, with additional fees based on the number of vehicles they introduce.

We commend Mayor Plante and her administration on their action to increase access to shared and electric mobility alternatives that will improve the way Montrealers get around town,” said Uber spokesman Jean-Christophe de le Rue. Bike sharing, he noted, can help reduce traffic.

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“In other cities where there’s that strong public offer of bike sharing, we are able to see that it stays stable and strong. Bixi will not be altered by the new offer’s services,” Caldwell said. “They are complementary.”

Bixi, the rideshare program that began in Montreal in 2014, has had great success in the city. The service, which operates through both an app and physical docking stations, has made biking more accessible to the residents of Montreal.

“Quebec will be allowing on our streets dock-less bikes and scooters. We decided in Montreal to pass a bylaw so we can control that phenomenon,” said Eric Alan Caldwell, member of the Montreal Executive Committee responsible for transport.

After the succes of Bixi, a new pilot project that consists of a scooter share service will be inaugurated in Montreal. The project, championed by the transport minister and the city of Montreal, is to be introduced for the first time this spring.

“One factor is speed — we need to control the speed,” Caldwell said. “Those bikes and scooters have equipment that can limit the speed. Quebec has set the speed limit at 34 kilometers per hour, and we want to take that down.”

TL;DR New electric scooters and bike rideshare services will be coming to Montreal this spring. This pilot project follows in the footsteps of other Canadian cities.

The electric scooter rideshare service is not the first of its kind. This service was inaugurated in Canada in Waterloo. The way that these scooters work is like this: people find the nearest scooter on an app, pay by the minute to use the scooters, and then leave them within a designated area.

Here's what the @jump_rides bikes you'll soon be seeing around Montreal look like. They're all electric. Unlike @BIXImontreal, they can be parked at any city bike rack. Service should debut downtown in May. pic.twitter.com/lkqDeaWXUr

The companies typically pay people to round up the scooters at the end of the day, charge them up, and put them back on the street.

The new bikes are expected to be deployed in May, with electric scooters arriving in June or July.  Scooters will be allowed on streets and bike paths, and parked in designated spots near intersections.

In a metropolis like Montreal, it is still unclear as to where these scooters can be left. The city is indicating that the scooters will be equiped with locks, and users will chain the scooters to bike stands and other designated spots.

Some cities have been reporting issues with this rideshare. Problems being brought up include riders aversion to helmets and tendency to avoid the bike lane.

No companies have announced that they will be operating in Montreal yet, though both JUMP and Lime have expressed interest in working with the city. The citys permit system hopes to attract serious candidates.

Interested parties have to apply for a minimum of $15,000 for a permit, depending on their size. Companies are also required to have an office in the city.